Jan 18 2013

Amnesty International: Time to end the inaction over killings of women in Guatemala

Authorities in Guatemala are putting the lives of women at risk by systematically failing to protect them and ensure those responsible for the hundreds of killings that take place each year face justice, Amnesty International said today after it emerged two young girls and two women had been brutally slain.

On 16 January, the bodies of the two girls were found in a street in Guatemala City. Two other women were also found dead, in separate locations.

Around 560 women were murdered in Guatemala in 2012, 631 in 2011 and 695 in 2010, according to official figures.

Less than 4 per cent of all homicide cases result in perpetrators being convicted. Guatemala’s congress passed a law in 2008 that typified various crimes of violence against women and established special tribunals and sentencing guidelines, but this has not stemmed the violence.

“There is no let-up in the cases of killings of women and girls recorded every month, despite the national scandal this has become for Guatemala,” said Sebastian Elgueta, Guatemala researcher at Amnesty International.

“Thousands of cases of killings of women and girls dating from the last decade are still unresolved or end up being archived due to inefficiencies.”

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